‘Gonzaquis’ in sickbay

Friday, 01 Dec 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad
Photo courtesy of Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

The road to the quarterfinals just got rockier for Cignal.

Two of their best attackers – Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis – will be out of service when the HD Spikers clash with Victoria Sports-UST in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand PrixSaturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Cignal head coach George Pascua confirmed the absence of his prized wards, saying that Gonzaga is still down with a knee injury while Daquis was recently diagnosed with dengue.

He said Daquis is already in stable condition, but she still has to spend the next few days at the Medical City in Pasig City.

“She’s now okay after spending the past five days in the hospital.”

“Right now, she’s still at Medical City and will miss our game against UST tomorrow.”

Also in sickbay is Gonzaga.

The national team star suffered a right knee injury in the second set of their straight-set loss to F2 Logistics last week.

Although medical tests revealed that there’s no structural damage, she still has to spend at least two weeks of full recovery.

“She’s also okay. No surgery needed on her knee.”

“But she needs at least two weeks to recover and regain her strength.”

Must-win

The match against the Tigresses is a game the HD Spikers can’t afford to lose.

Right now, they are sitting at the fourth spot with a 3-4 win-loss mark and another victory pit them against the fifth seed in the sudden-death quarterfinals.

Things, however, will get complicated should they suffer a crushing setback to the Tigresses as they will fall to 3-5, prompting them to settle fourth to seventh places depending on the final quotient of Cocolife, Generika-Ayala and Sta. Lucia Realty.

Anything lower than the fourth spot would be a kiss of death as they would face any from powerhouse F2 Logistics, Petron and Foton in the quarterfinals that starts on Tuesday.

Pascua said it’s something they don’t want to happen.

“It will be tough.”

With Gonzaga and Daquis out, the two-time champion mentor is tipped to dig deep into his bench as Stephanie Mercado, Janine Marciano and Mylene Paat are expected to be deployed to fill the void.

Imports Beth Carey and Alexis Matthews as well as local star Royse Tubino will also be tasked to light up the scoreboard to compensate the loss of his star spikers.

Pascua said instead of sobbing, they would use the absence of Gonzaga and Daquis as a motivation to do well.

“Both Rachel and Jovelyn are winners.”

“So I will tell the team that for us to relieve the physical and emotional challenges they are going through, we must win this game for them.”

“That’s the best thing that we can do.”

For Pascua, the absence of Gonzaga and Daquis will not just be a test to their ability – but a test to their attitude and winning character.